Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Consulting Company Internship Reflections


Introduction
            The purpose of this report is to provide a short background on my internship experience. I will first describe my current position and my duties. Then I will briefly report on my current role, the challenges that I face and how I address these challenges.


Current Position - Description
            Carmella currently holds the position of VP of Human Resources and Sales & Marketing. She came to have this position because the current VP of HR and S&M stated she read her Bio and thought she would be perfect to take over her position. This week the dedication was to training new interns in the role that they are going to be performing so, training is what she did in the program. Although experience may be the foundation of learning, it does not automatically or necessarily lead to that learning (Boud et al., 1993) Effective managed and integrated learning are vital for effectiveness and viability. Carmella received her training about what tasks she is to perform as a VP. Her role as VP of HR and S&M she is supposed to host meetings that include HR, VP and Directors and also the AHOD (all hands on deck) meetings.
Current Projects
Carmella’s current project is her role to deliver welcome packets to interns when an onboarding occurs along with and an invitation to week zero orientation. The onboarding process occurs every four weeks for the company. KapConsulting’s experimental learning program thrives on the ability to recruit interns to run the operational side of the business. They know that having effective interns is essential to the function of the internship. In this instance, the interns are what is considered to be human capital. Human capital is described as "having skilled and knowledgeable employees as valuable resources so that a business can outperform competitors." (Stewart & Brown, 2014, pg.11) Carmella would implement the final approval of placement from the onboarding list.  As the VP Carmella also has to oversee the Directors of HR and S&M. When someone sends an email, she is responsible for responding within a 24 hour period making decisions and fair judgment about issues or concerns.
Current Challenges
            There are some challenges to the role of VP of HR and S&M that she faced in the internship program. The challenges associated with the enculturating of students into a virtual internship has been previously documented. Carmella has observed that the interns seem not want to analyze and go outside of the box. The community of practice is a shared history of learning where individuals continually negotiate the meaning of what they are doing through interaction. (Wenger, 1998 pg. 86) The community of practice is lacking in the KapConsulting internship by some interns in the program. Another challenge that she discovered is that the internship did not provide any SOP (standard operating procedures) in place, so she thinks everyone is just winging it. One person promotes someone else, however; they are not receiving the proper training to be at full capacity in their new roles. Interns get little training and from there it is on the job experience and making a decision on what they want to do.
Challenge Solutions
Carmella’s solution to the current challenges that she is experiencing is to face them head on. She utilizes her analyzing skills to see how she can better the situation for the next person. As a person coming in new and being promoted she found many challenges that could have been avoided by having very simple protocol and procedures in the process. While performing her role she created a new department called Training and Development which is working to put together a training manual that everyone would have access.  
Observations
            According to Crowston (1997), one of the practical problems managers encounter is to seek and implement alternative procedures for performing a certain task; often, these alternatives would have to be more efficient and cheaper. As part of this course's outcomes, students have to analyze organizational processes and procedures in various business settings. For this reason the new training and documentation department was added to show processes for each role in the internship. The training manual would have everyone’s job description and instructions for what they are supposed to do in their role. Carmella believes this would be a vital tool for everyone in the internship because they would have documentation to reference once the former interns have left the program. Prof David Kolb’s theory is that effective learning must include the possession of these four different elements to assimilate and process information. (www.ehow.com) (retrieve Sept, 2015) Kolb’s theory also speculates that concrete experience is followed by reflection on a person’s basic experience. Active experimentation would be the role that you take in the internship that leads to being your concrete experience.

                        Another course outcome that may help in the successful accomplishment of this project is the ability to synthesize concepts and principles for ethical decision making. Adding an obligatory layer to ethical decision that of critical thinking which Ennis (1962) appropriately named as "the correct assessing of statements". In her role, she had to make decisions about intern’s issues, concerns, and suggestions. Overall, including these tools and characteristics in her current projects will help her identify the most efficient and viable way to ensure that professionalism is utilized and ensure that there are no emotional responses involved. Being in a leadership role can be very depending so when making the decision to be promoted you would want to examine if there is time in your schedule and the use of your analytical skills necessary to discern what information is to be relayed to subordinates.  
Conclusion
            This short management report presented Carmella’s current position and the status of her ongoing projects. Below is a time card with the hours devoted to the internship in week. Most of the course outcomes have been very helpful in the development of internship thus far. There are some outcomes that have been directly related to her role in the internship and turned out to be crucial: ethical analysis, as well as critical analysis of organizational processes and procedures. In all things that have been learned coming into the internship is that you gain a lot of insight and experience.  Carmella is thankful for the opportunity and experience she received because the program allows her to know that you can have growth from chaos. Through it all there has a blessing of skills of leadership.
  
References
Boud, D., Cohen, R., & Walker, D. (1993). Introduction: Understanding learning from experience. In D. Boud, R. Cohen & D. Walker (Eds.), Using experience for learning (pp. 1-17). Bristol, PA: Society for Research into Higher Education

Convergent Learning Style Vs. Divergent Learning Style | eHow.(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/way_5635221_convergent-vs_-divergent-learning-style.html

Crowston, K. (1997). A coordination theory approach to organizational process design.    Organization Science, 8(2), 157-175.

Ennis, R. H. (1962). A concept of critical thinking. Harvard educational review.
Enhancing Learning by Integrating Theory and Practice. (n.d.). Retrieved on October 30, 2015 from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ899313.pdf
Stewart, G..L. and Brown, K.G. (2014). Human Resource Management, 3rd Edition.          [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from http://kaplan.vitalsource.com
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning as a social system. Systems Thinker, 9(5), 1-10.

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